Dr. Dawg

Civil war on the Right

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civil war brexit.jpg

Brexit is one of those historical phenomena that is a mosaic of sub-phenomena; or, if you prefer, a forest with a number of diverting trees. Step back.

We’re watching a civil war within ruling classes unfold before our eyes. Look at the leaders, and then consider the largely hapless voters asked to choose between two unpalatable alternatives.

Some very broad strokes:

On the Remain side: Neo-liberal sharpsters, with-it wealthy businessmen, camp-follower economists, international capital, corporate globalizers, austerity-mongers.

On the Leave side: Protectionists, isolationists, assorted in-bred toffs and chinless wonders, nostalgic Empire buffs, opportunistic nativists, racists.

Among the Leave voters: Racists and xenophobes. Confused folks who thought their votes wouldn’t count. Fools. Charlatans. Knaves. Progressive leftists who have observed the utter immiseration and social devastation among vast swathes of the population that the EU and successive, increasingly savage, UK governments have wrought. Who have seen the wealthy double their take during the same period.

Among the Remain voters: Neo-liberals. Working folks who prefer the devil they know. Young folks who wanted to have a shot at a career, or even employment, in other EU countries. Realists aware of the insanely colossal task that withdrawal will be. Progressive leftists of the sort who prefer Clinton to Trump.

Ah. Clinton and Trump. No, I’m not trolling. There again is a palace civil war. Rich and crazy isolationist nativists on the one side; rich and smart, forward-looking corporate globalizers on the other. Each with a hand in the worker’s pocket. “Our” elites vs. “their” elites. Think of it as like another World War I, that family quarrel among inter-bred royalty, conducted by other means.

Each elite appeals to a different set of popular prejudices. Opportunist populism versus a more consistently ideological approach. Guns and religion and xenophobia on the one hand; the American dream and free trade and opportunity (if not equality) for all on the other. Hate versus more congenial pipe-fantasies.

Choose your poison. Or just push the chalices away.

Of course, no true progressive can leave it thus. We need a strategy.

(continued p.94)

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 26, 2016 10:58 AM.

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